Oh what fun it is to see the Forest draw away!

Earnie: Making a strong case for a place in the side

Earnie: Making a strong case for a place in the side

Ipswich Town – 1
Nottingham Forest – 1

Our seventh straight away draw in the league (if we go back into last season) officially qualifies Forest as a tough side to beat away, unfortunately we aren’t quite converting that meanness of conceding into ruthlessness of finishing.

Unusually Billy opted for the same starting eleven from the weekend’s trip to Sheffield Wednesday.  I half joked via Twitter at the time that we should have a sweepstake for when Garner would get booked – sure enough, he did indeed pick up a fifth booking of the season meaning he’ll miss the visit of Blackburn next week.

So the starting line up and bench were a familiar looking:

Gunter   Morgan    Chambers    Lynch
Garner   McKenna   Cohen    Anderson
Blackstock    McGoldrick

Subs: Smith, Wilson, McGugan, Moussi, McCleary, Earnshaw, Adebola

The Reds kicked off in grim weather conditions and suffered an immediate role-reversal from recent games – we conceded a ludicrously early goal rather than scoring one.  Unsurprisingly this involved a fairly hefty deflection!  A long ball was flicked on by Stead to Leadbitter whose shot deflected in to give the home side the lead after just 48 seconds.

Forest responded positively – Garner tried to catch out Town’s goalkeeper Wright with a cheeky lob that was marginally over.  Shortly after Blackstock headed just over from 12 yards.  The Reds showed good intentions but sloppy play and poor playing conditions made it heavy going for both sides.

Similarly to saturday, we seem to attract referees who like the sound of their whistle rather too much – once again this one wasn’t content unless he was stopping the game every couple of minutes for minor infractions by both sides.  It was during this spell that Garner picked up his yellow card for a poor challenge.

There were signs of good play by the Reds though.  McKenna played a ball to McGoldrick who was hacked down after turning and beating his man – the resulting freekick just outside the area was predictably spannered off target by Chris Cohen.  As a side we really really do not capitalise on setpieces nearly enough.

Danger in the Forest area was soon to follow too, Liam Rosenior did well to get forward and send a good ball across the face of the Forest goal – fortunately for us it was just beyond the stretches of Jonathans Stead and Walters so our goal remained unscathed.  Shortly after a cross/shot from Edwards nearly caught out Camp who ended up putting it out for a corner.

Half time saw Blackstock withdrawn for Adebola (Blackstock had picked up a head injury in the first half which had needed a bandage).  It was the next substitution, however, that was to prove the instrumental one for us – I’ve lamented Earnie’s lack of first team action a fair bit – and he made a big point today by scoring with his first touch upon being introduced to the action at the expense of Garner.

Chris Gunter was the provider, playing a ball into Earnshaw but the diminutive striker cleverly let the ball run through to Adebola and ran on to the return pass Dele made to chip the ball deliciously into the ‘net from around six yards out.  Great instinctive play between the two frontmen to get Forest an equaliser they had been working hard for.

The impressive Leadbitter was still proving a menace after a surging run but only resulted in a corner thanks to the intervention of Lee Camp.  At the other end Anderson found McGoldrick who did excellently well to beat his man but somehow contrived to shoot from a tight angle rather than try to put the cross in for one of his teammates.

As Forest started to get more into the game they showed more confidence to pass the ball around – but then the final ball let them down (sound familiar?!).  There was a slight heart-in-mouth moment when the ball deflected off Wes Morgan but this time for a corner rather than a goal – and McKenna needed to be alert to head off the line from a McAuley header after a cross by former Reds loanee Lee Martin.

The game ended with high drama – Dele did really well to nick the ball and get clean through on goal, McAuley clipped him down and was sent off – unfortunately for us it was outside the area, and Earnie’s use of the freekick was wasteful to say the least – spannered straight into the wall (Earnie had been given instructions from the bench too).  Despite a reasonable amount of stoppage time the Reds couldn’t break down the dogged home side so had to settle for a draw.

Boos greeted the fulltime whistle which may have been a combination of the Ipswich fans disgruntlement with the referee having just sent off their man (not that there was much argument with it!) as well as a continuation with their poor run of results.  As for Forest, another point away from home isn’t a bad thing if we can pick up our home results.

Elsewhere it was pleasing to read that Derby fell at home to struggling Barnsley – with Non-League Nigel apparently singling out Kris Commons for some rather choice criticism after the match (I’ve yet to find these comments anything other than paraphrased though).  It’s obviously too early to gloat about anything just yet – they’re still ahead of us on goals scored afterall – but it’s enjoyable nonetheless!

6 Responses

  1. That’s 5 games (in all competitions) without defeat – a good, solid start.

    This time last year, we were only dreaming of that level of performance!!

    A win on Saturday and we might be in the ‘top half’ of the table!

  2. […] best place to find out about the Ipswich match is the ever-excellent Through the Seasons Before Us – who also kept up a full Twitter commentary during the […]

  3. get the home form going and keep this up and we can rise again i honestly believe it……difference to last season under CC and Billy is we are now creating loads of chances and eventually earnie will start and he’ll put more away than he misses……biased ! but i prefer earnshaw to any of our recognised strikers and we should be starting with him and a.n.other only subbing when either were coasting or something needs to be done tactically……incidentally from what ive seen at home and away at sheff wed it should be earnie and blackstock as the preffered front two no question.

  4. I was delighted to see Earnie make a point at Ipswich (and earn us one too). I understand from an insider at the club that he spent a day up at Newcastle prior to the transfer window closing and was being lined up for a move out, which he wasn’t particularly keen on.

    I’m pleased he stayed as I also think he’s our best striker, with a record at nearly all of his clubs that is second to none. Even last year, an injury ravaged one for him, saw him score 17 goals.

    My own choice would be Blackstock and Earnie, with Dele used as a 2nd half ‘mix it up a bit’ sub to force a game where a physical presence helps.

    I think Earnie’s preference is Dele alongside him, judging by his post-match comments.

    I also agree that Tyson and Ando are our best wingers and with that attacking force we should score goals….they just need a few games where the team is consistent so they can continue to gel.

    Thanks NFFCBLOG for a cracking set of editorials, this site is a must read for all of my fellow Forest supporters. The guys at work all go to your site before even bothering with the NEP and the official Forest site.

  5. Good start but how come we haven’t got the Shitts?
    What’s Pleaty playing at?

  6. Good to see Earnie on the score sheet, lets hope BD starts with him and either Blackstock or Adebola on saturday with Tyson and Anderson on the wings.

    Personally i would go for McGugan and McKenna in the middle because McKenna and Cohen really dont seem to click. That could be considered a light weight midfield but home against blackpool, we really should be taking the game to them.

    Back four pick themselves these days but i would hate to see Cohen dropped, is he a better left back than Lynch?

    On another note, square pegs and round holes, why does BD persist in playing Garner on the right? I havent checked the actual stats but i bet he hasnt played 5 times 90mins yet this season and has picked FIVE cards, how long till he gets sent off and costs us a game. The only times i’ve noticed him this season is either getting booked or failing to score against QPR and Sheff Wed. Anderson isa far better player, might not have as mcuh steel but neither does a player who needs to be subbed every game before he gets sent off.

    rant over.

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